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Potential Food Allergies??

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

I've been lurking here on and off for a while but am newly registered...everyone is so helpful and full of insight!

We are the caretakers of 6 fabulous kitties, one of whom I suspect has food allergies. Please bear with me as this may run a bit long...I just want to be sure to share as many details as possible.

All six cats used to eat Wellness Super5 Mix (dry) until this past January; at that time we ran routine urinalyses on 3 of the boys as part of their annual exams. The U/As showed they had a few struvite crystals and their pHs were at the top of the normal range. Needless to say, time for a food change and of course the vet wanted to put them on C/D. I didn't want to do that, so the vet agreed we could switch them to an all-wet food diet and use Flint River Ranch dry as a transitional food. I wasn't thrilled with FRR because it contains corn and wheat, but I felt it was better than the alternative of C/D. We have managed to get 5 of the 6 cats converted over to an all-wet diet; the last one - Noah - as been VERY resistent (another story for another time), so he's still eating kibble.

A couple weeks ago, I miscalculated the timing for my Flint River order (it's mail-order only) and we ran out of kibble, so we got a bag of Innova to carry Noah over until the FRR arrived. That day I noticed he had very loose stool, but I assumed it was because of the food change. In the next day or so I noticed his stool was still soft, but formed....I figured he was adjusting to the food (by then we were feeding him a 50/50 mix of Innova and FRR).

A few days ago, when my husband was scooping the litter boxes he noticed there was a what looked like a bit of blood and mucous in one of the "deposits." We obviously didn't know who it belonged to, but took it to the vet for analysis while I followed cats to litter boxes trying to figure out who it could be. The sample tested negative for parasites, and after following the cats around for several days I determined that Noah is still having digestive discomfort (of course he was my number one suspect anyway, but I had to confirm he was the only one)

Since then I've started putting together small observations I've made over the past several months but never thought much about....these are what is leading me to believe he has a food allergy. Any insight would be appreciated...here's what I've noticed.....

He has been "picking" at his fur a bit, mainly on his hind legs and back. He doesn't have any actual bald spots or scabs, but you can tell it's a little thin. I've also recently noticed that his lower belly fur near his hind legs is also looking a bit thin - again no bald spots, just thin. He also has a bit of dandruff, and his fur had lost some of its sheen (he's a medium-haired cat with down-like fur so he never had a high gloss but he had a little bit of a shine). He's not majorly itchy around his head and neck, but he does scratch there at times. The other thing I've noticed is that the area of skin where his tail and back meet tends to feel a little warmer than the rest of him, and - unlike the other cats who LOVE being scratched there - touching that area obviously causes him discomfort (by his response I don't believe it to be back pain; it seems more like it's highly, uncomfortably ticklish). We actually brought this fur-picking to our vets attention and his thought was fleas, even though there wasn't an ounce of evidence. He convinced us to administer Frontline to all 6 cats for 3 months to see what happened. There was no change in Noah's fur picking after the treatments. He's not obsessive about it; it's just something he does at times and we just started to accept it as one of his quirks.

So now we've picked up on Noah's digestive issues. I had noticed an occasional "pudding poo" over the past few months, but since it wasn't consistent I didn't hunt anyone down on it. However, I share litter box duties with my husband and he did the same thing...and for whatever reason we never mentioned it to eachother until we found the slightly bloody stool last week.

Just this week I switched his food yet again to a much simpler food...California Natural Chicken and Rice. That's pretty much all it contains - chicken and brown rice...no veggies, dairy, other protein sources, etc.

So, here are my questions....

Noah has been eating the California Natural food for 2 days now. I noticed today that his fur actually has a sheen back to it! Is it possible that he could have a positive response so quickly?

He does still have runny poos, though, but I didn't expect an instant change in that department. BTW, they don't seem to be excessively frequent, just loose. Some are more formed than others, but all are probably too soft to be considered normal.

Does all of this sound like it points in the direction of food allergies?

As of now I'm planning on taking Noah to the vet next week; I want to spend a few more days observing his habits and behavior so that I am loaded with info when we go. I also want to see if this food helps him out, too (although I know it can take up to 6 weeks for allergens to work out of the system).

Aside from these things, he shows no other signs of illness - no loss of appetite, no weight loss, no lethargy, no vomiting, just as spunky and fiesty and bright-eyed as all get out. He's not a nervous or jumpy cat. Also, he is 2 1/2 years old.

If you've made it this far, thank you sooo much for reading my ramblings. Any thoughts or insight would be greatly appreciated!

post #2 of 8
please get that lovely allegy link I cant find

common cat allergies I have found ... wheat corn soy fish chicken

If your worried about allergys the best otc food is natual balences venison and green pea try for about thrre months .. takes 83 days for the coat to turn over completely...

My Zoey was pulling some of her hair .. it was cured when I took wheat out fo her diet
post #3 of 8
After you get him check medical and he gets the all clear migth want to try Feliadea (sp?) or Life's Abundance.

My Loki has food allergies and wouldn't eat Feliadea but loves Live's Abundance.

Here is the website if you want to take a look!


PS: IT IS FOR ALL LIFE'S STAGES - there is not kitten/adult/senior feed!
post #4 of 8
silly me do you buy at a small store or Petsmart /Petco??
post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
I buy their food from a fabulous small store that sells only the super-premium brands. The 5 who will eat wet eat Merrick's; Noah currently eats California Natural which - although it contains chicken - is supposed to be geared towards allergies since it only has a few ingredients and no corn, wheat, etc. He has only been on it a couple days, though. Ultimately I will get him eating wet food like the others, but at the moment I just want to get his digestive system settled down before pursuing that avenue again.....

post #6 of 8
true it is .. I loke chn just finding it can be a culprit ... I love simple diets
post #7 of 8
Diherrhia (sp?) can cause the sheen in thier fur to go away. When I got one of my cats he almost had no fur and what he had was dull and very dry. I started him on a better diet and his fur got soft in about a week! I was amazed at how fast his fur started recovering. it does take much longer to get the coat to where it should be but you will start to see results rather quickly.
post #8 of 8
Originally Posted by sharky
please get that lovely allegy link I cant find

common cat allergies I have found ... wheat corn soy fish chicken

If your worried about allergys the best otc food is natual balences venison and green pea try for about thrre months .. takes 83 days for the coat to turn over completely...

My Zoey was pulling some of her hair .. it was cured when I took wheat out fo her diet
Here you go:http://www.crvetcenter.com/foodallergy.htm the page has been updated, but the info is still there, just not as noticeably laid out (imo).
Fwiw, I think food allergies certainly is a possibility, as is IBD (which can be related to food allergies).
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